Barcelona, 29 November 2021 – Climate action, economic integration and support for women and youth are some of the key areas of partnership under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today between the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the the Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The three-year agreement strengthens the collaboration between both entities to address common challenges across the Mediterranean and Arab States regions, enabling them to work together to build peace and prosperity through policy development, project implementation and knowledge sharing.
Actions to support countries to adapt to and mitigate the growing risks of climate change feature prominently under the agreement, including the development of a Mediterranean Climate Change Hub which will provide training to central and local public administration officers on climate adaptation, and enhance investigation and data collection.
With more than half the population of the Arab region below the age of 25 years, empowering young people by supporting leadership programmes and developing sound policies that address their needs is also a critical component. Additionally, mutual opportunities to promote employment and economic growth in the regions will be explored, with a focus on increasing the employability of vulnerable groups like youth and women and fostering a culture of both entrepreneurship and private sector development.
During the signing ceremony, Secretary General of UfM Nasser Kamel, and Regional Director for the Arab States at UNDP Khalida Bouzar exchanged their views on the new agreement.
Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean: “The signature of this MoU, in the sidelines of the UfM Regional Forum of its 42 Member States, signals a strong renewed commitment to the relationship between the UfM and UNDP. By joining forces, we will be able to create a widened platform for regional dialogue and cooperation. Contributing to regional integration and stability in the Euro-Mediterranean region are amongst the UfM’s top priorities discussed today, and we look forward to pursuing and intensifying this effort hand-in-hand with UNDP.”
“Building resilient societies – particularly in conflict-affected areas – cannot be achieved by one entity alone,” adds Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for the Arab States, Khalida Bouzar. “We are proud to partner with UfM to establish solid foundations for peace and prosperity in the region through tangible climate action, elevating the voices of women and youth, and bolstering local and regional economies. Our collective efforts are fueled by a clear commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – our global blueprint for a better and fairer world – so I look forward to bringing this exciting partnership to fruition,” she says.
Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, also commented on the partnership, highlighting UNDP’s critical work in the Mediterranean.
“From the protection of unique maritime ecosystems in Albania to innovative solutions to plastic waste in Turkey, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS is committed to safeguarding our natural heritage in the Mediterranean. The countries of the Mediterranean all share common concerns for the effects of the climate crisis and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable, including youth and women. This new partnership between UNDP and the Union for the Mediterranean is testimony to our commitment to address these challenges together and endeavor to build back better and greener together,” she adds.
About Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is the only Euro-Mediterranean intergovernmental organisation bringing together the countries of the European Union and 15 countries from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The UfM provides a forum for strengthening regional cooperation, dialogue and the implementation of concrete projects and initiatives that have a tangible impact on our citizens, especially our young people, in order to meet the region’s three strategic objectives: stability, human development and integration. https://ufmsecretariat.org/. The UfM is proud to celebrate Mediterranean Day for the first time this year – find out more at mediterraneanday.com.
About the United Nations Development Programme
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.